Project Leader: 
Research Team:  Arpita Mukherjee, Souvik Dutta, Subrata Mitra & Parthapratim Pal
Commencement:  July 2008
Completion:  August 2009
Funded by:  Express Industry Council of India

Express delivery services (EDS) play a crucial role in trade facilitation and in improving the global competitiveness of industries. This is one of the fastest growing sectors in India. The regulatory regime in India is evolving. This study examines the recent developments in the express delivery sector of India, identifies the constraints and recommends policy reforms needed for its rapid and holistic growth. It also examines the global experience of the express delivery sector, highlighting the lessons for India.

The study was based on a primary survey and secondary data analysis. A nation – wide primary survey has been conducted covering service providers in the express and logistics sector, industries which use express services and government departments among others. In-depth interviews were conducted with international policy makers and sector experts.

The study discusses the regulatory concerns in express and related services such as transport services. India has received requests to liberalise this sector from the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and in its FTAs. India’s negotiating strategies and options have also been discussed in the study. The study found that in India there is no clear distinction between EDS and courier companies, but the former offer more value – added services. It also found that the Indian logistic chain is highly fragmented and by offering integrated services, EDS companies have helped to modernise the logistic chain. The industry is competitive with a large number of players but economies of scale are required to offer value-added services. This has led to strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions. Various regulations relating to this sector including the Postal Bill, ground handing policy and single goods and services tax (GST) are pending and this has created an uncertain operating environment. The study suggests that the new regulations should be urgently implemented so that the sector can grow in a competitive environment.